Literary Confessions

Pride and PrejudiceThis pains me a bit to admit, but I am starting to feel like I’m misleading my friends by not acknowledging it.

I’ve never read Pride and PrejudiceLiterary Confessions: Pride and Prejudice. There. I said it.

Until this month’s bookclub assignment of Sense and Sensibility, I’d never read ANY Jane Austen. How did that happen?

Her books were never assigned reading in school, and I had them lumped in the category of “books that are often assigned for school are all books that you HAVE to read, never ones you WANT to read.” So if I didn’t have to read them, why on earth would I choose to?

One of my best friends from college was so horrified to learn that I’d never read Pride and Prejudice that she immediately mailed me a copy of it. Years later, it’s still sitting on my bookshelf, unread.

It eventually reached the point where I’ve heard so many friends gush over it that I hesitated to read it because, really, could it possibly live up to the hype?

Except that as I already mentioned, my bookclub picked Sense and Sensibility for its 50th book. And as a {mostly} dutiful bookclub member, I’m reading it. And … I love it. Why oh why did I wait so long to give Austen a try?

The good thing is, I’m pretty sure I’ve got another great book by her to look forward to reading. Soon.

Are there any book that you hesitate to admit that you haven’t read? Please tell me I’m not alone in this!

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  1. Ha! Because of my blog name, I regularly hear people’s Jane Austen-related reading confessions. This sounds familiar…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you like S&S I would expect you to love P & P, which is a more light, bright, and witty book. You inspired me to re-read S&S for the first time in a decade–I’m on chapter 7 now–so thanks for that!

    • Austen’s use of language is what I enjoyed the most in S&S, so that does have me fairly excited to read P&P. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I would agree that P&P is even more fun than S&S. I have a huge list of books I have never read. I call it my Reading List of Shame. I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in English, and people seem surprised that I have not read ALL BOOKS EVER PUBLISHED, but there are a few that I think, “Goodness. Why have I not read this thing?” I’m currently in the middle of Anna Karenina, which has been on my list. Others? Catch 22, Lolita, The Catcher in the Rye, etc.

    • Reading List of Shame – YES. And my Master’s degree is in Library Science, so that’s another one that people assume – you’re a librarian? Of course you must have read all the books ever published. Isn’t that what you do all day at work? Read books? (Ha. hahahahaha. So not the case.)

      How is Anna Karenina? And of your list, I’ve only ever read The Catcher in the Rye.

      • haha. AK is a beast. It’s beautiful and intricate and complicated. The characters make me want to throw the book across the room. Overall, it’s daunting because of its heft. 800+ pages of Russian upper crust drama.

        • Yes. 800 pages is such a huge investment of reading time that’s hard to want to dive into it in this stage of life.

  3. This cracked me up! Not because I’m laughing at you, because I can identify. ๐Ÿ™‚ I read my first Jane Austin last year when the beloved book club chose to read Emma. I read it being a dutiful member too…and I LOVED it! Haha! I’m in the middle of S&S now and not sure I’m going to finish it in time for our club meet up. ๐Ÿ™

  4. I’ve only ever read P&P, none of the other Austen books. And I really have no interest in reading them… does that make me a bad person? ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I’ve read several Austen books and loved them. I wonder if seeing movie adaptations of them help though? I had never read Dickens or Shakespeare until I assigned them to my kids (I homeschooled). Both were a drudgery to get through! Don’t think I’ll read them on my own as a choice. I also have not read very many of the American classics (Catcher in the Rye, etc.). My husband did in high school, but somehow I never got to those — maybe some day.

    • I don’t know – I’ve never seen any of the movie adaptations of Austen’s works, and I’ve liked to loved all the Shakespeare I’ve read. The one and only Dickens I’m still working on, but I am enjoying it when I take it slow. When I tried to read it more like a true novel I did find it drudgery! When I read it as it was published (a serial), I like it much more.

      I’m trying to think of an American classic that I really like and off the top of my head I can’t. All the ones I remember reading in school I fell somewhere on the scale between “tolerated” to “abhorred.” There are still plenty of them that I didn’t read, so maybe someday I’ll find one that I like. I do think it’s somewhat sad that “classic” to mean still means “yuck,” even if I liked S&S. Perhaps my tastes are just lowbrow, or perhaps it’s that I don’t like reading depressing books and so many of the classics do feel that way to me.

  6. Haha, I’m in the same boat! I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice either, but I love the movie. So shameful, I know. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. How good of you to confess, Sheila! I worked my way through Austen, but ended up watching the movie versions of “Northanger Abbey” and “Persuasion.” Loved “Persuasion,” so maybe I’ll actually read it one day! Hard to beat P&P, though. ANd my confession? I’ve never read an entire book from “The Little House…” series. Not sure what that says about a classical/CM teacher, but I think it says something. Someday.

    • Oh, I’d love to know what you think of LH reading it for the first time as an adult. I adore the books, but how much of that is because of the great memories I have of having my mom read them to me, and then me reading them on my own? I don’t think I could evaluate them on their own merit.

  8. this made me laugh. P & P (and Harry Potter) is the book I go back to on an almost annual basis when I have nothing else to read. I love the irony. The characters are truly characters. They make me cringe and laugh. S&S is a bit heavier, but I still like it. Have your ever read Emma? This is pretty equal with P&P in my opinion. And I love the Gwyneth Paltrow movie version. So fun.
    About Miss Pettigrew, I may have seen the trailer for the movie, and then saw the book at the library. I think the movie is colorful, but I did like the book better.
    I am currently debating reading the Great Gatsby. I have never read it. Shocking! But, I did just see that trailer too, so I am thinking I may read it, and then watch the movie if I like the book.

    • Nope, no Emma. S&S is my only Austen (so far…)

      I read Gatsby in school and hated it. But then again, I felt that way towards most of the books I had to read in school, so if I’d read it in another setting I might have different feelings towards it. In other words, don’t let my negativity towards it influence whether or not you read it! I am curious about that movie too…

  9. Sheila,
    I’m so far behind on blog-reading it’s shameful, but I hopped over here and clicked on this post immediately. I have never read Jane Austen, either!! BA in English, Master of Library Science … yet I am so NOT well read. I have all these books on my shelf, on my Kindle, or even in my bedside stack just begging for my attention, and now I think after reading your post and all these comments, I will delve into Pride and Prejudice. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You always inspire me. I pray you’re doing well–have missed talking to you! <3

    • I think it’s hilarious how many people HAVEN’T read Austen, because it seems sometimes like everyone has – even people who don’t read all that much. Or maybe it’s just that because I always felt like I *should* have read her, it jumped out at me when I heard people talking about her books.

  10. Haha! I think all bibliophiles have secret “unread shame” over a book we feel we’re supposed to have read. Up until recently, mine was Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I just picked it up a few weeks ago, and now it’s one of my favorites! It’s definitely going on my blog in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚

    P.S. I haven’t read the real Pride & Prejudice, but Pride & Predjudice & Zombies must count for something! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Ha! I just might read P&P & Zombies after reading P&P to see where they go with that crazy story line. At least I’m assuming it’s a crazy story line with that title.

      I’ve never read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy either. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • P & P & Zombies was definitely a fun read. I’ve seen a P&P movie, so I’m a little familiar with the original storyline. In the zombie version, the author keeps the Regency tone, but swaps out the motivations behind major plot points. Even though there’s crazy stuff going on, the rewrite takes itself pretty seriously, so I think that helps with the suspension of disbelief. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • I really do think I’ll need to try it, because it’s so hard to wrap my head around this and imagine how the author wrote the story.


  1. […] already confessed that Sense and Sensibility was my first time reading Austen, and that it had me all but kicking myself for waiting so long to read her. So, this review […]

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